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Title:
A VEHICLE HOLDER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/028128
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention concerns a vehicle holder (1,17) for wheeled vehicles with at least one pedal. It comprises a positioning body (4,5,6,19,20) for positioning pedal or crank vertically, a blocking body (11,26) for reversibly blocking their exit and a pedal shield (12,23) for shielding the pedal bolt at least at its end near which it is attached to the crank.

Inventors:
HÄNGGI DANIEL (CH)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2020/069460
Publication Date:
February 18, 2021
Filing Date:
July 09, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
HAENGGI DANIEL (CH)
International Classes:
B62H3/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2019038644A12019-02-28
WO2019038644A12019-02-28
Foreign References:
DK201700496A12019-03-20
US5025932A1991-06-25
CH668400A51988-12-30
US5820002A1998-10-13
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A vehicle holder for a wheeled vehicle with at least one pedal, with a crank thereof and with a crank spindle thereof, if installed as intended comprising at least one frame, at least one positioning body (4,5,6,19,20) that is configured for reversibly receiving the pedal or its crank or both and for reversibly limiting the position thereof at least vertically at least by comprising at least one downwards-facing slide (4,19) or at least one upwards-facing slide (5,20) or both, and at least one blocking body (11,26) that is configured for reversibly blocking a part of the vehicle in positions thereof that correspond to the limitation such that the receipt by the positioning body (4,5,6,19,20) cannot be reversed, characterised in that the vehicle holder (1,17) also comprises at least one pedal shield (12,23) that is configured for shielding the bolt of the pedal in positions thereof that correspond to the limitation at least at its end near which it is attached to the crank.

2. A vehicle holder according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the positioning body (4,5,6,19,20) is configured for reversibly limiting the position of the pedal or its crank or both at least vertically and in parallel to the pedal bolt.

3. A vehicle holder according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the positioning body (4,5,6,19,20) is configured for reversibly receiving the pedal or its crank or both when these are in front of its spindle.

4. A vehicle holder according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the blocking body (11,26) is configured for so blocking a pedal of which the spindle is subject to the limitation or so blocking a part of its crank between spindle and bolt.

5. A vehicle holder according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the blocking body (11,26) is configured for so blocking the pedal that is subject to the limitation or of which the crank is subject to the limitation, or so blocking a part of its crank between spindle and bolt.

6. A vehicle holder according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the blocking body (11,26) comprises a hinge (13,27) that is attached to the frame.

7. A vehicle holder according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein a shield (11a,23) is configured for reversibly moving with respect to the frame.

8. A vehicle holder according to the preceding claim, wherein the shield (11a,23) is attached to the blocking body (11,26) or to a body of the mechanism for causing the blocking body (11,26) to move.

9. A vehicle holder according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the vehicle holder (1,17) also comprises at least one spindle shield (11a) that is configured for shielding the spindle in a position thereof that corresponds to the limitation at least at its end near which the crank is attached to it.

10. A vehicle holder according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the vehicle holder (1,17) also comprises at least one detector that is configured for detecting an entry of the vehicle and for causing in response thereto the blocking body (11,26) to block the part of the vehicle.

11. A vehicle holder according to the preceding claim, wherein the detector comprises a lever (14,28) that is configured for being pushed by the vehicle in the course of entry.

12. A vehicle holder according to the preceding claim, wherein the lever (14,28) is configured for being pushed by the pedal or by its crank or by both after receipt thereof by the positioning body (4,5,6,19,20).

13. A vehicle holder according to any one of both preceding claims, wherein the detector comprises an arm (15,30) that connects the lever (14,28) to the blocking body (11,26).

14. A vehicle holder according to any one of the three preceding claims, wherein the lever (14,28) comprises a hinge (15,29) that is attached to the frame.

Description:
TTTT.F

A vehicle holder

DESCRIPTION

The invention concerns a vehicle holder for a wheeled vehicle with at least one pedal, with a crank thereof and with a crank spindle thereof.

A pedal is attached to its crank via a pedal bolt, which includes an axle if the pedal is used for propulsion. In bicycles, the bolt typically can be fastened and loosened to the crank by applying a tool to the circumference thereof at the side where the rest of the pedal sticks out, or instead to the bolt head on the opposite side. The pedal might also serve brake, engine or gearbox control.

The vehicle holder is primarily intended to hold single-track vehicles such as bicycles, electric bikes or mopeds. Some single- track vehicles have wheels placed side-by-side, but by definition these are close together in comparison to the height of the centre of gravity when driven. Turning single-track vehicles requires leaning into the curve. Because of their high built, they are less than stable at rest.

Such vehicles vary in size and shape, subject however to consideration for the anatomy of the driver, as well as factual and industry standardisation. Insofar as a feature of the invention is described in relation to the vehicle that is held rather than to the vehicle holder itself, said vehicle is deemed to span the range of sizes, shapes and accessories of mass-produced vehicles of the intended type for the intended driver age group.

A vehicle holder according to the invention comprises at least one positioning body that is configured for reversibly receiving the pedal or its crank or both and for reversibly limiting the position thereof. This aspect is known for instance from US5025932. The known vehicle holder necessitates lifting the vehicle in the air, presumably with one hand, while keeping one pedal crank pointing down so that it can slide into a vertical shaft. The lid on top of the shaft can be secured by a separate lock, which would be left exposed to attack with a cutter tool. The shaft can act even on the crank part around the spindle. Preferably however, the positioning body is configured for reversibly receiving the pedal or an adjacent part of its crank or both and for reversibly limiting the position thereof.

Besides securing the vehicle against theft, and producing a vehicle holder efficiently, the invention should allow fast and easy parking. One way to achieve this is having the positioning body reversibly limit the position of the pedal or its crank, preferably an adjacent part of its crank, or both at least vertically if the vehicle holder is installed as intended, preferably also in parallel to the pedal bolt. Optimally, the positioning body can receive these objects pointing forwards in a vertical range that spans more than a quarter of the pedal path diameter, which is about 9 cm, over which the spindle can be made to self-adjust easily and the object fit independent of their orientation. The self-adjusting effect wears off beyond three quarters thereof. In order to engage the positioning body properly for a drive spindle, which can take any orientation, the driver might need to help by rotating it backwards freely or, while briefly lifting the driven wheel, forwards. Upon receipt of the pedal or its crank, preferably the adjacent part of its crank, or both, the positioning body limits their vertical range for the purpose of fastening the vehicle. It may need to move them into a narrower vertical range, which may even be outside the range of reception.

The positioning body could be a cup that narrowly fits the pedal or its crank, preferably the adjacent crank part as disclosed in CH668400A5 and US5820002, or both. It might be a carriage for moving them from a first height to a second height. According to the invention however, it comprises at least one downwards-facing slide or at least one upwards-facing slide, more preferably both, for these parts to slide along. For example, the positioning body of WO2019038644 can receive a pedal by means of a sloped slot in a vertical plate into which the pedal bolt between footrest and crank can slide. The slide might be attached to the frame or to dampers.

The slide surface should be essentially stepless. Ideally, it is essentially smooth. It may be curved or straight. The surface of opposed slides may be equidistant all the way or the slides may taper, like a funnel. As the vehicle enters the vehicle holder, the slides may channel the pedal or its crank, preferably the adjacent crank part, or both in the horizontal direction or downwards or upwards.

Another aspect for easy parking is a wheel trough that is below 30 cm at least at one end, preferably positioned at least at one end such that a wheel of a bicycle on the ground can be rolled into it. Preferably its inclination, if any, is below 40° everywhere. Advantageously, it is attached to the frame alongside the positioning body. Advantageously, its projection in the horizontal plane essentially is parallel to such projection of any downwards-facing slide or of any upwards-facing slide. The wheel trough may consist of flat walls that mimic the letter U or V. Alternatively, it may have some rounded cross-section. In order to fasten the vehicle, the vehicle holder according to the invention also comprises at least one blocking body that is configured for reversibly blocking a part of the vehicle in positions thereof that correspond to the limitation such that the receipt by the positioning body cannot be reversed. For example, the part to be blocked is the down tube of a bicycle frame. The blocking body engages the down tube from behind in order to keep a forward-pointing crank inside the positioning body. Preferably however, the blocking body is configured for blocking a pedal of which the spindle is subject to the limitation, or for blocking a part of its crank between spindle and bolt. Two scenarios can be distinguished here.

Firstly, the blocked part of the vehicle is the same pedal or a part of the same crank between spindle and pedal bolt, namely the pedal that is subject to the limitation or of which the crank, preferably an adjacent part of its crank, is subject to the limitation, respectively its crank. The blocking body together with the positioning body might tightly clamp or loosely surround the pedal or the crank, preferably the adjacent crank part, or they might not even do that much. They might merely close off two directions that other positioning bodies, such as a wheel trough or a steering bar holder, have left open by engaging the vehicle elsewhere. It can be sufficient to limit the upward position of the pedal for altogether pinning the vehicle down, in particular if the crank has been rotated downwards as far as possible.

In the second scenario, the vehicle might comprise a second pedal and a second crank on the same spindle, as is the case with pedals for the purpose of propulsion. The vertical position of the first pedal or its crank, preferably an adjacent crank part, having been limited by the positioning body, the second pedal and its crank also have a position that is known, roughly. This allows a blocking body to act there, for keeping everything in place.

Advantageously, the vehicle holder further comprises a latch that is configured for causing the blocking body to stay there, or instead for releasing it. The latch might include a hook or a bolt. The latch drive may be chosen as a solenoid actuator, a memory shape alloy drive or the like. A return spring might be included in the latch. Upon its release by the latch, the blocking body is caused to move out of the way of the vehicle part by gravity or alternatively by a spring or alternatively by an exit lever that is engaged by the vehicle when it is taken out of the vehicle holder. Of course, instead of a latch, a drive with an electromotor or the like may drive the blocking body back and forth.

WO2019038644 describes blocking a pedal bolt of a bicycle in the slot in a vertical plate by a small motorised arm, thus limiting movement of the pedal vertically, transversely and longitudinally. Although the bicycle is secure from occasional theft, the invention is based on the insight that well-prepared attempts with use of appropriate tools might succeed. By raising or rolling the bicycle somewhat, it is possible to stick a long hex key past the chain stays, the chain and the integrated stand and through the wheel spokes in engagement with a bolt head on the inside of the crank. In time, the blocked pedal can be detached from the crank, releasing the rest of the bicycle from the vehicle holder, if not the pedal as well.

Furthermore, the invention is based on the insight that in these cramped spaces, with dimensions that vary with the vehicles, efficient measures nonetheless can be taken.

The invention teaches that the vehicle holder comprises at least one pedal shield that is configured for shielding the bolt of the pedal in positions thereof that correspond to the limitation at least at its end near which it is attached to the crank, that is on the far side of the crank from the rest of the pedal, which serves engaging a shoe of the driver.

The positioning body already protects a large part of the pedal bolt circumference. Preferably, the pedal shield is configured for shielding the pedal bolt in positions thereof that correspond to the limitation at part of its circumference between the crank and the rest of the pedal.

Most likely a metal plate, the pedal shield should substantially cover at least the projection of the pedal bolt beyond the crank opposite to where the rest of the pedal sticks out. It should be placed far enough to accommodate different crank sizes, yet close enough to prevent access of a tool to the bolt head. In practice, the width of mass-produced cranks varies within several mm, but the most suitable tool requires a few more mm of play, so there is a window for getting it right. The pedal shield may even contain small holes, each having an area up to a few mm 2 , as long as access of tools is denied.

The blocked part of the vehicle may be a second pedal on the same spindle, or a part of its crank between spindle and pedal bolt. The position thereof is known too, within limits, and the vehicle holder preferably comprises a dedicated pedal shield.

Preferably, the positioning body is configured for receiving the pedal or its crank, preferably the adjacent part of its crank, or both when these are in front of its spindle, in other words when they are more to the front of the vehicle than where the spindle is. Preferably, the positioning body is configured for receiving the pedal or its crank, preferably the adjacent part of its crank, or both from the direction of the vehicle that enters the vehicle holder. If instead the positioning body receives any behind the spindle of a bicycle that enters the vehicle holder slightly off course, the pedal shield is prone to obstruct progress of the crank or the pedal, the spindle, either the chain cover at the front sprocket or the integrated stand, or a chain stay.

The picture gets more complicated if the vehicle holder advantageously also comprises at least one spindle shield that is configured for shielding the spindle in positions thereof that correspond to the limitation at least at its end near which the crank is attached to it. With the pedal in front of the spindle on its way to the positioning body, a spindle shield at the same side is likely to obstruct progress of its crank or the pedal. However, if the blocked part of the vehicle is the same pedal or a part of the same crank, the spindle shield easily can be configured for reversibly moving with respect to the frame by attaching it to the blocking body or to another body of the blocking mechanism, all of which is nearby anyhow. Likewise, if the blocking body ends up behind the spindle, it is easy to configure a pedal shield there such that it can be moved with respect to the frame. If a shield is configured for reversibly moving with respect to the frame, it preferably does so with a vertical component of at least 3 cm.

For similar reasons, the positioning body is best located portside of the vehicle, that is portside of the parking place. At least for bicycles, custom and standardisation have put the drive chain on starboard.

For easy parking, the vehicle holder preferably comprises at least one detector that is configured for detecting an entry of the vehicle and for causing in response thereto the blocking body to block the part of the vehicle. The detector might include a sensor and an electronic device for assessing the sensor signal, for example a group of optical sensors and a constellation of flipflops that trigger a blocking signal when anything that resembles the local outline of a front wheel in lateral view, nears a stop that marks the forward end of the parking place.

The detector advantageously comprises a lever that is configured for being pushed by the vehicle in the course of entry. The lever might be located at the bottom of a wheel trough, such that a front wheel would push it shortly before reaching a stop that marks the forward end of the parking place. Preferably however, the lever is configured for being pushed by the pedal or by its crank, preferably the adjacent part of its crank, or by both after receipt thereof by the positioning body. In other words, the lever is located in the way of the pedal or of its crank, preferably the adjacent part of its crank, after receipt thereof by the positioning body. The lever might slide, but preferably it comprises a hinge that is attached to the frame. Also, the lever might be connected to the blocking body mechanically. The detector advantageously comprises an arm that connects the lever to the blocking body, preferably with a single degree of freedom of movement, preferably with a hinge at each end of the arm.

Optionally, the constituent elements of the vehicle holder leave the factory unconnected. For operation as intended, they must be installed on site in fixed positions in proper orientation and distance to each other.

Figure 1 schematically depicts, within a row thereof, a vehicle holder according to the invention with a positioning body for receiving the portside pedal in front of its spindle, but minus the nearby sidewall and minus the vehicle barrier, the blocking body being set for preventing a vehicle to enter or to exit,

Figure 2 schematically depicts the blocking mechanism within the vehicle holder as in figure 1,

Figure 3 schematically depicts the blocking mechanism as in figure 2, but the blocking body being set for allowing a vehicle to enter or to exit,

Figure 4 schematically depicts, within a row thereof, a vehicle holder according to the invention with a positioning body for receiving the starboard pedal behind its spindle, but minus the nearby sidewall, the blocking body being set for preventing a vehicle to enter or to exit,

Figure 5 schematically depicts the vehicle holder as in figure 4 from the side, but minus the nearby wall of the compartment that houses the blocking mechanism,

Figure 6 schematically depicts the vehicle holder as in figure 5, but the blocking body being set for allowing a vehicle to enter or to exit.

Figure 1 displays most parts of a vehicle holder 1 and complementary parts of the neighbouring vehicle holder of the same design on the far side thereof. The vehicle holders primarily are meant to hold bicycles, with or without electromotor, and certain mopeds. Vehicle holder 1 comprises a wheel trough 2 of sheet metal, which constitutes a guide track as much as a parking place for the vehicle. A vehicle should enter from the left, where the wheel trough nears the floor to within 2 cm. At its other side of vehicle holder 1, out of view, vehicle holder 1 comprises a side-partition of sheet metal, in this case of galvanised steel, which it shares with the adjacent vehicle holder on the far side.

The side-partition constitutes the side wall of two box-like structures. The one below, roughly speaking, houses equipment for holding the vehicle. The upper one is a locker 3 for storing objects that the driver leaves there. Near the forward end of the parking place, both give room for the front wheel of the parked vehicle if the driver steers it to the left.

Cut out in the walls of the box below, a downwards-facing slide 4, an upwards-facing slide 5 and a flat horizontal wall 6 are attached together to constitute in effect a single positioning body. It has been given a location and a size to make it suitable for receiving the portside pedal on a forwardly pointed crank. The positioning body limits the position of the pedal both vertically and in the outer direction of the pedal bolt. The opening of the positioning body extends vertically by 25 cm. The slides 4,5 gradually limit the vertical position to a channel with a height of 10 cm.

The unseen side-partition is attached to a traverse 7 of galvanised steel, which extends at the bottom across all vehicle holders. The traverse 7 is cut from view as indicated by dashed lines, and on the far side as well. Electric wires through traverse 7 connect the electronics in each vehicle holder with those of the others. The side-partition and traverse 7 effectively constitute a frame on which every other part of the vehicle holder is mounted, directly or indirectly. As a case in point, wheel trough 2 is attached to traverse 7.

In a non-depicted alternative that lacks a through and a traverse, the parking place would be on the floor.

Locker 3 has a door 8, which is made of slidably mounted metal slats. An operating panel 9 for interfacing with the driver is attached on top.

Vehicle holder 1 also comprises a moveable barrier for blocking unauthorised vehicle entry, which is not shown. The corresponding barrier 10 of the neighbouring vehicle holder on the far side is rotatably mounted on the unseen side-partition.

A blocking body 11 extends through the positioning body such that it would block a pedal at the end therein from moving out.

The spindle can only take positions that correspond to the position of the pedal inside the positioning body. A spindle shield 11a is attached to blocking body 11 as an integral part of a steel plate. In its upper position, it closely covers the spindle longitudinally, thus shielding the spindle at its end on the far side of the crank.

After receipt of the portside pedal by the positioning body, a pedal shield 12 protects the end of the pedal bolt inside the crank from manipulation. It also protects part of the bolt circumference on the other side of the crank, although the positioning body already covers all practical angles.

Figure 2 displays the positioning body and the blocking mechanism within the vehicle holder as in figure 1 from the same perspective. Blocking body 11 comprises a hinge 13 that is attached to the frame. Sticking through a slit in the positioning body, a lever 14 is located in the way that the received pedal would take, currently in the position if the pedal would have pushed it all the way. It comprises a hinge 15 that is attached to the frame. It is connected flexibly to the blocking body 11 via an arm 16 with a hinge at each end thereof. The arm 16 causes the blocking body 11 to take an extreme position that corresponds to the lever 14 having been pushed backwards altogether. An unseen latch would fix an element of the blocking mechanism in place, and thereby the blocking body, until operated to release it.

Figure 3 shows what gravity does to the blocking mechanism if the unseen latch has released the body that it acts on. Clearly, blocking body 11 is set for allowing a vehicle to exit vehicle holder 1. If the next one enters, the progression of its left pedal in the positioning body will push lever 14 so as to move blocking body 11 up until the pedal is secured and the latch locks the mechanism up again.

An alternative embodiment of the invention is displayed in figure 4.

A bicycle or electric bike would enter vehicle holder 17 at the near side from the right in an unseen wheel trough on top of traverse 18, which again has been cut off as indicated by dashed lines. A downwards-facing slide 19 and an upwards-facing slide 20 in side- partition 21 constitute a positioning body for receiving the pedal bolt on the right side of the vehicle in a funnel that ends in a slot. The positioning body is located to keep the pedal bolt behind the vehicle spindle. For this to happen, barrier 22 must be opened first.

A pedal shield 23 is placed at around 2.4 cm from side-partition 21. It can take a low position in order to make room for the vehicle entering vehicle holder 17. When a vehicle does enter, the bolt of its right pedal is caught in the slot between slides 19,20, thereby limiting the position of the pedal vertically and in parallel to the pedal bolt. Then, pedal shield 23 moves up by means of arms that extend through slots 24,25 in side-partition 21 and takes the depicted position, thus covering the bolt head on the inside of the starboard crank when the vehicle comes to rest.

Figure 5 shows vehicle holder 17 from the other side. The blocking mechanism inside its housing is exposed and partially shown. An elongated, L-shaped blocking body 26 is attached to the frame via its hinge 27. A lever 28 is placed where a received pedal would push it to the right, the pedal bolt being caught in the slot between slides 19,20. The hinge 29 of lever 28 is attached to the frame. Both are connected flexibly via an arm 30 with a hinge at each end. One end of blocking body 26 sticks through an opening on top of the housing. It has been rotated up in order to block the received pedal from behind. The bolt of a latch 31 near the top of arm 30 has slid underneath a ridge therein, in order to keep everything in place.

Pedal shield 23 on the far side of side-partition 21 is attached to blocking body 26 via three arms that are fixed by nuts 32,33,34.

These arms stick through the curved slots 24,25 in side-partition 21.

Figure 6 offers the same view of vehicle holder 17 in the case that latch 31 has released arm 30. The weight of the objects has brought them in their current position, wherein blocking body 26 rests on a fixed stop 35 below.

A second version of the invention concerns a vehicle holder for a wheeled vehicle with at least one pedal, with a crank thereof and with a crank spindle thereof, if installed as intended comprising at least one frame, at least one positioning body 4,5,6,19,20 that is configured for reversibly receiving the pedal or its crank, preferably an adjacent part of its crank, or both and for reversibly limiting the position thereof, advantageously at least by comprising at least one downwards-facing slide 4,19 or at least one upwards- facing slide 5,20 or both, and at least one blocking body 11,26 that is configured for reversibly blocking a part of the vehicle in positions thereof that correspond to the limitation such that the receipt by the positioning body 4,5,6,19,20 cannot be reversed, characterised in that the vehicle holder 1,17 comprises at least one detector that is configured for detecting an entry of the vehicle and for causing in response thereto the blocking body 11,26 to block the part of the vehicle.

Preferably, the detector comprises a lever 14,28 that is configured for being pushed by the vehicle in the course of entry. More preferably, the lever 14,28 is configured for being pushed by the pedal or by its crank, preferably the adjacent part of its crank, or by both after receipt thereof by the positioning body 4,5,6,19,20. Advantageously, the detector comprises an arm 15,30 that connects the lever 14,28 to the blocking body 11,26. Also advantageously, the lever 14,28 comprises a hinge 15,29 that is attached to the frame.

Advantageously in the second version of the invention, the positioning body 4,5,6,19,20 is configured for reversibly receiving the pedal or its crank, preferably an adjacent part of its crank, or both when these are in front of its spindle.

Preferably in the second version of the invention, the blocking body 11,26 is configured for so blocking a pedal of which the spindle is subject to the limitation or so blocking a part of its crank between spindle and bolt. More preferably, the blocking body 11,26 is configured for so blocking the pedal that is subject to the limitation or of which the crank, preferably an adjacent part of its crank, is subject to the limitation, or so blocking a part of its crank between spindle and bolt. Preferably, the blocking body 11,26 comprises a hinge 13,27 that is attached to the frame.